Black Lagoon

A Fort Worth bar is one of the few bars across the U.S. chosen to host a special pop-up with a Halloween theme. Called Black Lagoon, it's an immersive Halloween pop-up bar concept that will hit nine cities across the U.S., and that includes Nickel City, the Austin-based neighborhood bar located at 212 S. Main St. in Fort Worth.

According to a release, Black Lagoon is a horror experience created by industry veterans Erin Hayes (Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles and Chicago's Lost Lake) and Kelsey Ramage (Trash Collective and Supernova, opening soon in Toronto). Here they are in a photo, looking very spooky Morticia.

They first debuted the concept in Toronto in 2021; it was subsequently crowned Best Pop-Up Bar in Canada, although that could also be that Canadians are easily impressed. Jury is still out.

The release says that Nickel City will be transformed into a wicked environment, with decor cues taken from goth culture and cult horror, such as House of 1,000 Corpses, including skulls and life-sized coffins. You're encouraged to wear costumes.

"Kelsey and I both love the metal/goth/horror bars and those spots really inspired Black Lagoon, but they are more beer-and-a-shot places," says Hayes in a statement. "With our background in the spirits world, we wanted to pay extra attention to make sure our [cocktails are] as tasty as they are blood curdling."

The drinks menu is built around Halloween hues with beverages that are blood red, the darkest black, and eerie orange, to include:

  • Screaming Banshee, with gin, Giffard L'Abricot, pineapple syrup and Greek yogurt
  • Lilith's Cup, with Mount Gay Black Barrel, Aperol, vermouth, passionfruit syrup, and glitter
  • Closed Casket, with Bruichladdich Classic, St. Remy, Giffard L'Abricot, passionfruit syrup, and miso ferlernum
  • Hellraiser, with Hornitos, Chairman’s spiced rum Cointreu, and spiced oat orgeat

Cocktails will be served in custom glassware, which is always a big thing with these pop-up bars. Said glassware will also be for sale, which is also a big thing with these pop-up bars.

Musically, the playlist will feature a subtle hardcore vibe, throwing in punk and metal along with a soundtrack of eerie noises.

Nickel City is a favorite DFW destination for holiday-themed pop-up bars, having previously hosted the very similar-in-concept Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up of national scope both in 2020 and in 2021.

"We wanted markets that have vibrant countercultures so patrons who are likely to enjoy our immersive vibe will come and feel right at home," says Hayes.

The full list of bars includes:

  • Chicago: The Dandy Crown in partnership with Hospitality 201
  • Portland: Hey Love
  • Los Angeles: Lost Property Bar
  • Dallas/Fort Worth: Nickel City
  • Denver: Yacht Club
  • NY: Our Wicked Lady
  • Montreal: 132 Bara Vintage
  • Vancouver: Butcher & Bullock
  • Toronto: Third Space

The pop-up begins in September and they're hosting a special preview on Sunday, September 4 which is open to the public from 6-10 pm.

Black Lagoon is about celebrating a spooky holiday but the pop-up is also about creating a safe space for those who may not feel at ease in every cocktail bar.

"We want this to be a space for the weird, for the misfits and the goths," Hayes says.

"As an adult, this concept embraces my inner goth metal kid who just loved Halloween," says her partner Ramage. "We just want to let people have fun and experience true freedom from judgment."

Photo courtesy of Cowtown Concepts LLC

A little birdie social club with patios galore has opened in Fort Worth

Birdie News

A veteran bar group in Fort Worth is debuting a new venue: Called Birdie's Social Club, it's in the Cultural District at a familiar address: 2736 W 6th St., IE, the space that was formerly Lola's, which is relocating.

Birdie's is a casual, open-air concept, spanning the entire block between 5th and 6th streets, with three indoor and outdoor bars, multiple patios, food, drinks, and entertainment. According to a release, it's now open.

The club is from Cowtown Concepts LLC, creators of the Curfew Bar, with inspiration culled from a variety of sources spanning Route 66, country clubs, and the pastel flourishes of Palm Springs, evinced via large-scale murals and colorful details such picnic benches, umbrella tables, and loungers that have transformed the historic space.

The venue has both an outdoor covered stage for live acts and an indoor stage called The Clubhouse for intimate shows. They'll be open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

Details on the food are still forthcoming, but the cocktail menu for the outside space includes Birdie's Laughing Margarita; an Arnold Palmer with house-made peach tea available by the pitcher; and the Little Hollywood, a riff on the Dirty Shirley with bourbon and an ancho chile kick.

Inside features a cigar-lounge feel with a moody upscale interior, where they serve classic cocktails like the Tom Collins and the Gimlet.

But it's also designed to be family-friendly, and has an all-ages policy until 10 pm.

A grand opening is penciled in for Wednesday, August 31 from 4-8 pm with the Powell Brothers, Fletcher's Corny Dogs, and complimentary champagne from the Bubble Bus while supplies last.


Landmark Fort Worth bar with patio & games opens spinoff in Dallas

SMU News

A successful Fort Worth bar is bringing its patio and games to Dallas: Landmark Bar & Kitchen, which has been opened in the West Seventh area since 2013, is opening a spinoff on Dallas' SMU Boulevard, on the ground floor of the Shelby Residences building at 5609 SMU Blvd., in late July.

Landmark is from One Entertainment Group, whose portfolio includes Theory Nightclub, Playground Bar, and Texas Republic. One Entertainment founder/principal Sam Sameni felt like the Landmark Bar & Kitchen was the right concept for the space.

It'll be a relaxed concept with an enclosed patio boasting arcade and backyard games, better-than-bar food, cheap drinks, and a crazy-big TV screen measuring 130 square feet.

"We wanted to give people in the neighborhood a laid back place to hang out and have fun," Sameni says.

The space will comprise 7,000 square feet with a serious commitment to pets that includes a dog-friendly patio, dog toys, chews, and a special doggie food menu.

"We feel like we'll complement legendary bars already in the area such as Milo's Butterfingers and Barley House," he says.

The original Landmark Bar & Kitchen has become a landmark in its neighborhood thanks to its broadly welcoming vibe and varied programming for a variety of tastes, be that karaoke, music bingo, steak night ($15 steak and loaded potato on Wednesdays), boozy brunch, and live music.

"There's always something going on, and it doesn't feel like the same thing every night," Sameni says. "We also usually offer the best happy hour in the neighborhood."

At the Dallas location, that'll mean $4 Titos, Jack, frozen drinks, and beers Monday-Fridays 4-7 pm, with a free nacho bar to sweeten the deal. (Speaking of, Landmark is offering $1 drinks during opening week; go to LandmarkBars.com and sign up to get the special.)

One Entertainment Group also owns Cutie Pies Pizza, The Yard, and Hot Chicks Chicken, which has a location right next door to the space.

Country music icon and Gilley's co-founder Mickey Gilley passes away at 86

remembering mickey gilley

A country music icon has passed away. Mickey Gilley, the singer-songwriter whose career spanned more than 50 years, died Saturday, May 7 surrounded by his family, according to Pasadena, Texas mayor Jeff Wagner. He was 86.

Born in 1936 in Natchez, Mississippi to a famed family that included iconic cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, Gilley cut his teeth at small clubs, eventually charting 39 Top 10 hits and 17 No. 1 singles.

In 1970, he opened his now-famed, eponymous Gilley’s honky-tonk in Pasadena, which would eventually be known as the “world’s biggest honky-tonk.”

The club — and its legendary mechanical bull — would eventually create a memorable setting in the 1980 John Travolta smash hit, Urban Cowboy. An over-the-top movie premiere at the club in 1980 saw the likes of Lynn Wyatt, Andy Warhol, and Diane von Furstenberg.

Gilley not only starred in the blockbuster, but his cover of “Stand by Me” became a pop and adult contemporary hit that year, marking a resurgence for the singer. (He later recounted that magical era with TV legend Dave Ward.)

With Urban Cowboy putting him back in the spotlight, Gilley moved to television in the 1980s, appearing in popular series such as Murder She Wrote, The Fall Guy, Fantasy Island, and Dukes of Hazzard.

His Gilley's club no longer operates in Pasadena (a store is located nearby), as it shuttered in 1989 due to dispute between Gilley and one-time partner Sherwood Cryer. In 1990, the honky tonk burned down; the fire was ruled as arson by local investigators.

Gilley sold the naming rights to Dallas-based developer Matthews Southwest, and Gilley's Dallas opened in 2003. It's currently owned by Don Nelson. There are also locations in Las Vegas and Oklahoma.

He has a connection to Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth, too. A history snippet on Billy Bob's website recalls, "Mickey owned his own honky tonk place that was called Gilley’s and he was upset when Billy Bob’s opened that we called ourselves the world's largest honky tonk. Well eventually when we got Mickey Gilley to play here, we sold T-Shirts that said 'Gilley plays Billy’s.'”

A longtime Pasadena resident, Gilley boasts a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, six Academy of Country Music Awards, and a place in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Fittingly, a street in Pasadena is named for the star: Mickey Gilley Boulevard.

“Pasadena has lost a true legend,” Wagner said in a social media post, adding that “his talent and larger-than-life personality helped ignite a new interest in country music as he introduced the world to Pasadena through his dance hall and Urban Cowboy in 1980. We were so honored to have Mickey perform at our State of the City in February, 2020. Our prayers for comfort and peace are with Mickey’s family, his loved ones and his fans.”

Photo by Greg Blomberg

Pinky's uncorks Champagne and jazz in Fort Worth's Near Southside

Bubbly News

UPDATE 3-18-2022: Pinky's opens on March 18.

There's a new lounge coming to Fort Worth's Near Southside that will specialize in three great things: Champagne, booze, and live jazz. Called Pinky's Champagne Room & Velvet Jazz Lounge, it's dubbing itself "a place for cool cats to break it down, imbibe, and enjoy local jazz," and it will open at 615 S. Jennings Ave., which was most recently a bar called Low Key Tavern, but has also been home to CraftCade, The Last Word Bookstore, and at one time, was part of Tony's Pizza.

Pinky's is from husband-and-wife John Cocke and Dena Mangrum-Cocke, who both have worked in the food & beverage industry and are opening their very first place.

John, who worked for Consilient for many years, moved to Fort Worth to work at Fireside Pies (then called Thirteen Pies) in the West 7th District. He also worked at Hotel Otto, the little hotel from chef Tim Love.

They're hoping to open Pinky's by March.

"Dena and I were thinking, 'What does Fort Worth need?'" John says. "And we thought about all these places that used to have jazz, like Sardine's, that have now closed. We're talking about jazz with no cover charge. We love the Scat Lounge downtown, but they're a different kind of place, and they charge cover."

Their inspiration was a lounge with the same name that they visited on a road trip.

"We visited a place called Pinky's Champagne Room, it's in the middle of Missouri, it's been closed for a while, but it was this little tiny room with so much charm," he says.

They're very into bubbles, which is fortuitous, since champagne bars are starting to trend.

"We're spotlighting sparkling wines," he says. "We'll be doing five glasses of champagne plus five other bubbles from around the world. And then a menu of 10 concoctions featuring bubbles like an Aperol Spritz, plus a few New Orleans-style cocktails. The back part of the menu will have about 14-15 bottles of champagne."

"We will be a Champagne room with live music — that's what we’re trying to accomplish," he says.

They're currently in the thick of construction which includes repositioning the entrance so that it's on the side of the building, speakeasy-style. The room will have 100 seats, and come with a certain degree of swanky kitsch, perhaps previewed best by their logo: A black background with Pinky's and a sexy coupe champagne glass with a few bubbles floating on top, all done in hot pink.

Magnum Room

Super-exclusive (and pricey) speakeasy sneaks into Hotel Vin Grapevine

Speakeasy News

The boutiquey Hotel Vin in Grapevine would seem to have every foodie angle covered, from its wine-centricity, to its two in-house eateries, to its proximity to a food hall and mixed-use development in Grapevine.

It even made the top 10 on the 2021 Readers' Choice list of best hotels issued in October 2021 by Conde Nast Traveler.

Not enough. Now it has added the trinket that's become a food & beverage must-have: the speakeasy bar.

Called Magnum Room, it opened on December 17 — stealthily, of course — with many of the hallmarks of the quintessential speakeasy:

  • Secret phone booth entrance
  • Roaring '20s vibe with candlelight, elegant jewel-toned leather sofas, and an intimate ambiance
  • Prohibition-era style drinks

Secret hidden speakeasy bars are the hottest bar trend in Dallas-Fort Worth right now, with a dozen that have opened in the past year or two. This marks the first in Grapevine.

The Magnum Room's bar program features a seasonally rotating cocktail list, as well as a selection of sought-after spirits. The drinks are not cheap; the lowest-priced option is $15.

One with Aviation gin, Gerard Bertrand orange gold wine, and chartreuse is $16. The "Fig & Fume" has whiskey, Aramo Nonino, vermouth, and fig syrup, and is $23.

A "Gold Fashioned" has bourbon, Liquor 43, Angostura cocoa bitters, and actual gold, and is $22.

There's a "Magnum Margarita" with anejo tequila, Grand Marnier Louis Alexander, and gold salt that’s $40.

And the "Royal Cup" with scotch and Amaretto comes in three grades, from $25 to $45 to $55, depending on how fancy your scotch is (the $55 version has King Dalmore King Alexander Scotch).

There's also a "Dealer's Choice" option where you allow the bartender to prepare a unique cocktail based on your favorite flavors and spirits.

It comes with an air of exclusivity. Although located within the Grapevine Main development, the drinks at the Magnum Room can't be found anywhere else on property. And they're open limited hours: Friday-Saturday from 5 pm–12 am. Reservations must be booked in advance using OpenTable.

Psst: Don't tell them who sent you.

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New ways to work out — including in a movie theater — abound in Dallas-Fort Worth this February

Fit Feb

Raise your hand if you're still going strong with that resolution to work out more or improve your health. Now raise your hand if you believe every day is a new start, and February is as good a month as any to start a new good-for-you habit.

There are lots of new fitness and wellness studios proving the February theory, with openings galore.

Read on to get caught up on where you should be visiting next, then make note of the fun classes, races, and events happening around Dallas-Fort Worth this month.

EōS Fitness, which recently became headquartered in Dallas, is opening its first Texas location, in Euless at 2401 Rio Grande Blvd.

Memberships start at only $9.99 a month, and include start-of-the-art equipment, group fitness and cycle classes, an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, a Kids Club, and the unique MOVEoS Cinema, where members can work out while watching a big-screen movie in a theater-like setting.

SweatHouz — which already has locations in Plano, West Village, and Watters Creek — has opened another infrared sauna studio in Preston Royal, at 5959 Royal Ln. It boasts eight private sauna suites and offers cold plunge, hydromassage, and Celluma red light therapies.

Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy has opened two new locations, in McKinney (1620 N. Hardin Blvd.) and Richardson (212 Campbell Rd.).

Restore provides whole body and localized cryotherapy, IV drip therapy, stretch therapy, Cryoskin facials, mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, infrared sauna, red and near infrared light therapy, compression therapy, and micronutrient testing.

Dallas Yoga Center has a new home above Gloria's Latin Cuisine at 4140 Lemmon Ave. There are more than 40 classes per week in-person and digitally, with private yoga lessons also available. Single classes, 10-class packs, and monthly memberships that include the wellness immersive experience range from $25 a class to $120 a month.

Fashion brand LoveShackFancy has teamed up with wellness brand BelliWelli to launch a probiotic chocolate chip cookie snack that's free with all purchases at LoveShackFancy stores. The snack bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-sugar, and were designed to help those with IBS improve their gut health.

And now for classes and events. Mark your calendars for:

Stage West First Tuesday, February 7
Yes, this is put on by a theater company, but who better to help you tap into your emotions and leave feeling great? Tune Your Heart with Sound Healing, lead by Sara Southerland, will start at 6 pm and last approximately 90 minutes (the first 20 minutes include a complimentary drink and snacks from the bar).

Sara will then use her voice, crystal singing bowls, chimes, and drum to recharge and relax participants.Tickets are $20 each, with discounts for the theater's season ticket holders.

Hot Chocolate Run, February 11
A chocolate lover's oasis awaits following this 5K, 10K, and 15K, with fondue, dippables, and hot chocolate. Those 21 and up can add one free shot of RumChata, peanut butter whiskey, or Irish cream, if they so choose (be sure to bring your ID!).

Love on the Run, February 18
Be one of the first 350 participants to complete this inaugural USATF-certified race that includes a 10K, and 5K run/walk. All fitness levels are welcome to this family-friendly event, which begins at Toyota Music Factory and benefits the Irving Schools Foundation.

Black Girl Magic Ride, February 20
Head to Grit Fitness in the Design District for these two 60-minute spin classes (6 pm and 6:45 pm), highlighting the studio's Black spin instructors and celebrating Black musical artists.

And be sure to come back on Saturday, February 25, for the Black Business Girl Boss Pop-Up Shop from 8 am-12 pm.

The Cowtown Marathon, February 24-26
See the sights in Fort Worth, from the Stockyards to the Museum District, TCU to Trinity Park, during this half-marathon, full marathon, ultramarathon, healthy HIG relay, kids 5K, adults 5K, and 10K. With so many choices, you're sure to find a race that's right for you.

'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams brings 2023 tour to Fort Worth with rock 'n' roll-icon guest artist

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena - and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping in Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical currently is on stage at Dallas' Music Hall at Fair Park (through February 5) and is coming to Fort Worth's Bass Hall, February 7-12.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.

Global superstar Beyoncé rides into Arlington on highly anticipated world stadium tour

Worldwide concert news

Texas-born pop superstar Beyoncé is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth as part of her just-announced "Renaissance World Tour." She will perform at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on September 21.

And, fans who can't get enough can also catch Bey in her hometown of Houston, at NRG Stadium, on September 23.

Tickets for the world tour dates go on sale Monday, February 6. BeyHive members will enjoy an exclusive presale, while other fans can register now with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan technology here. Those interested can find tickets, schedules, and more information at beyonce.livenation.com and tour.beyonce.com.

Beyonce kicks off her world tour on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Friends Arena. She'll dot Europe with big stadium shows through June 27, where she'll play Warsaw, Poland.

Her North American tour starts July 8 in Canada, where she'll play Toronto's Rogers Centre. Beyoncé will trek the U.S. through the summer and into September; her Dallas and Houston shows are the sole Texas performances.

She will end her tour in New Orleans (Caesars Superdome) on September 27.

The world tour comes as Beyoncé is awash in Grammy glow: in November, she was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, tying her with her husband (neé Shawn Corey Carter) for the most nominations in Grammy history. The Grammys take place Sunday, February 5.

Critics and fans have lauded Renaissance, her first solo work since the wildly popular and deeply personal 2016 effort, Lemonade — even through its minor controversy.

Start packing and planning those trips. Here's the entire tour schedule:


May 10, 2023 – Stockholm, SE – Friends Arena

May 14, 2023 – Brussels, BE – King Baudouin Stadium

May 17, 2023 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff Principality Stadium

May 20, 2023 – Edinburgh, UK – BT Murray Field Stadium

May 23, 2023 – Sunderland, UK – Stadium of Light

May 26, 2023 – Paris, FR – Stade de France

May 29, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

May 30, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

June 08, 2023 – Barcelona, ES – Olympic Stadium

June 11, 2023 – Marseille, FR – Orange Velodrome

June 15, 2023 – Cologne, DE – Rhein Energie Stadion

June 17, 2023 – Amsterdam, NL – Johan Crujff Arena

June 21, 2023 – Hamburg, DE – Volksparkstadion

June 24, 2023 – Frankfurt, DE – Deutsche Bank Park

June 27, 2023 – Warsaw, PL – PGE Narodowy

North America

July 8, 2023 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre

July 12, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field

July 15, 2023 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium

July 17, 2023 – Louisville, KY – L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium

July 20, 2023 – Minneapolis, MN – Huntington Bank Stadium

July 22, 2023 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field Stadium

July 26, 2023 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field

July 29, 2023 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium

Aug. 01, 2023 – Boston, MA – Gillette Stadium

Aug. 03, 2023 – Pittsburgh, PA – Acrisure Stadium

Aug. 05, 2023 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field

Aug. 09, 2023 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium

Aug. 11, 2023 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Aug. 16, 2023 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium

Aug. 18, 2023 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium

Aug. 21, 2023 – St. Louis, MO – Dome at America's Center

Aug. 24, 2023 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium

Aug. 26, 2023 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium

Aug. 30, 2023 – San Francisco, CA – Levi’s Stadium

Sept. 02, 2023 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium

Sept. 11, 2023 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place

Sept. 13, 2023 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

Sept. 18, 2023 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium

Sept. 21, 2023 – Arlington – AT&T Stadium

Sept. 23, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

As always, As with previous tours, Beyoncé will create activations, programs, and giveaways via BeyGOOD, the foundation she created in 2013.